FDS: January 2004 Archives

January 29, 2004

The Fishing Accountant

An up-to-date spreadsheet of those who are coming and those who have paid me so far can be seen here.

Note the difference in numbers between the two.

Posted by Bigwig at 04:31 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Still Primitive

NC 12 North of Ocracoke is still in trouble.

Residents of this coastal village always keep a close eye on the weather, but the sorry condition of N.C. 12 has forced them to plan off-island trips around the direction the wind takes.

I think if we have one of those Hatteras lows build out there, and it sits there for a while, I have no doubt itll take it out, said islander David Styron of the troubled road. It wont take a whole lot.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post is questioning whether or not parts of the Outer Banks will be tourist ready by summer.

"It is kind of creepy when you're driving by and the fisherman on the beach is on higher ground than you are," said Sherry Atkinson, manager at the Pelican Restaurant in Ocracoke. The North Carolina Department of Transportation apparently intends to create wider, taller dunes than those that stood before and has pledged to start this month. Workers are dredging tons of sand from Hatteras Inlet for use in dune reconstructio

Posted by Bigwig at 04:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Drums Along The Boardwalk

South Carolina just released 1.8 million fingerling red drum into the state's estuaries.

I wonder how many, if any, migrate out of those waters and into our own?

Marking the fish consists of exposing them to a chemical called oxytetracycline, which binds to their bones and shows up as a yellowish color when viewed under a special microscope.

Ah, now I know what to spend the extra trip money on this year.

Posted by Bigwig at 04:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fishing For Winter Specks

Looks like there's more action down south.

Posted by Bigwig at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sinking The Frying Pan Light

For when one of us manages to to get his hands on an ocean-going boat.

From Towers to Reefs Obsolete light stations will go to Atlantic floor to enhance N.C. fishing

Their brilliant beacons once sliced through the thickest fog and darkest night, warning sailors to steer clear of treacherous shoals off the North Carolina coast. Now, though, modern technology has made the flashing lights atop the two light stations obsolete as navigation aids for sailors.

The aging superstructures of Frying Pan Shoals Light Station and Diamond Shoals Light Station safely elevated the living quarters of the crews that manned them above the turbulent sea. But those towers have deteriorated badly enough to become as unsafe as they are useless at fulfilling their intended function.
The light stations are scheduled for dismantling in June or July. After being cut into sections, they will be buried at sea, where they will provide a new service.

The towers are destined to become habitat for fish.

Posted by Bigwig at 04:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 28, 2004

Trip Seniority Rankings

Bull Drum: Kevin Mangum, Sid Stafford
Chopper Blues: Charlie Stafford, Kevin Mason, Clif Ferrell
Specks: Tommy Calisto, James Evans, Curt Hendrix,
Puppy Drum: Colin Riddell, Scott Glass
Croakers: Andy Humer, John Turner
Puffer Fish: Adam Stockwell, Dallas Romanowski, Greg Kowalski, John Grey, Nathan Wright, Carl Stafford*
Cut Bait: Jason White, Travis Verts, Rob, Mike, Rev. Stafford, Mr. Humer, John Wnek*

*Paid for trip, thus earning seniority, but were unable to make it.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 27, 2004

2004 October Trip

I've booked the same house as last year, for October 16th-23rd. The cost has gone up to $125 each ($1374.92 before the security deposit, which I will cover), owing to both an increase in rent and my lessened ability to cover as much as I have before, as the wife has selfishly chosen staying home with the kids over earning money for me to fish with.

That $125 buys you a week, or whatever portion thereof you wish to make use of. I expect that like last year, most will come for half a week. However, I can't count on that, so I can't pro-rate the cost. Like last year, any extra money I get will go towards beer, bait, gasoline and groceries.

Don-Lee alumni should note that I expect this year to be at least as popular as last, probably more so. That means that if you all wish to make part of this trip a Don-Lee reunion, then you need to either send me a check or PayPal me the money as soon as possible. I'm assuming you'll want to do the same as last year, and make the first part of the trip the reunion. We can, at a pinch, get 13 people in the house at once, but I'm going to tell anyone who tries to book a spot after we reach that limit that they are S.O.L. If they possess a bed of thier own and/or an SUV I'll reconsider, but I'm not going to be happy about it.

Trip Senority does count here, but not for much.

I will consider booking another house, if need be, but only after this one is paid for, and I think we all prefer to stay in the same place anyway.

Let me know if you have questions, and send money! I've got to have the deposit in within a month, I expect.

Finally, I'm sent an email copy of this from home, so I don't have access to all the email addresses that I have on the work computer. If someone does not appear in the TO: or CC: lines, it does not mean that they are not invited. I'll re-send this tomorrow to a larger list.

Posted by Bigwig at 02:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 21, 2004

Still not much happening...

...just finished looking at a few message boards and the fish just are not around. looks like we missed the big run by about two weeks, give or take. all those being taken now seem to be strays, with the exception being the south point of ocracoke. apparantly those sharks we caught are refered to locally as "dog sharks". we sure killed them saturday, though...40 plus! too bad they don't have a citation for those damn things. all in all, a great trip, i thought. the house worked out great though we maybe should have fished the old jetty for specks, but the water temps all seemed so cold north of the point. i say let's consider this again next year. perhaps our luck will change. if nothing else, we will gain more experience.

Posted by Kevin at 05:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 19, 2004

Be Careful Where You "Fall Asleep"

Or who you fall asleep in front of. He never spilled a drop of his beer, though.

Posted by Bigwig at 07:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 14, 2004

Supplies revisited

I'm going to take care of coffee, trash bags, dishwasher detergent and plastic cups.

Sid said he already has zip-loc's and laundry soap.

Mason's got the goat and rubbers.

Anything else?

Posted by at 02:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Red Drum Tackle in Buxton claims to be getting bait in.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 13, 2004

beach parking

the location of the house is fantastic, but i am afraid that beach-front parking will be out of the question. if i remember correctly, the only access ramp is the one at the lighthouse, and turning left (north) there is out of the question, unless they have closed the nesting areas for the terns and plovers. usually, they only let you go as far north as the rock jetty there at the old lighthouse location, but things may have changed, especially since isabel blew through. but this is not a problem. just look at where we are! i mean, if we really needed to, we could walk the beach to the point. not to mention that we can probably catch fish right off the beach in front of the house! this really looks promising.

Posted by Kevin at 04:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Baitfish Need Protecting, Too.

PROTECTING baitfish is almost as important as protecting gamefish. Without fish to prey on, there would not be an abundance of striped bass, as well as bluefish and other marine life that need baitfish to survive.

The National Coalition for Marine Conservation (NCMC) recently went before the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to present a new plan to conserve menhaden (bunker), one of the most important prey fish on the East Coast.

Citing the diminished ecological role of menhaden caused by overfishing in Chesapeake Bay (in particular, the threat it poses to the sustainability of the hard-won recovery of striped bass), NCMC asked the Commission's Menhaden Management Board to begin immediately the process of amending the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.

"We believe, as do other fishing and conservation organizations, along with thousands of anglers, that there is a danger to striped bass and other key predators if we continue to harvest menhaden the way we do," said NCMC president Ken Hinman, who serves as a member of the ASMFC's Menhaden Advisory Panel. "We are urging the Commission to amend its coast-wide management regulations to change the way we fish for menhaden, in a way that respects its role in the food chain, before an ecological crisis occurs."

Overfishing in the Chesapeake, which produces nearly half of each new generation of menhaden for the coast-wide stock and up to 90 percent of migratory striped bass, endangers stripers and other predators (bluefish, weakfish, waterbirds) throughout their range. Anglers up and down the coast sacrificed for more than a decade to restore the once-depleted striper.

Posted by Bigwig at 01:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Fishing NW winds

Sounds like a NW wind is choice for fishing Cape Point: http://saltwatersurffisherman.com/windscapepoint.html
I think things are looking good for Friday's fishing. Hopefully, we'll have NW wind direction the whole time.

Posted by Mason at 11:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 12, 2004

Trip down on Friday

Well, My buddy here at work isn't able to join us after all.

There's some major work on the email system at work scheduled for that weekend, and he has to stay in Raleigh to get that taken care of. He sends his regrets.

This means that I'll be leaving the Raleigh area around about 5:30ish, which according to mapquest will put me in Buxton about 11:00.

What's everyone else's plan for getting down there?

Posted by at 05:22 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

January 11, 2004

Fishing Report

From the Jan 8th edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch

There was a real striper blitz on Pea Island where more than 100 were landed on Friday afternoon. Two young anglers caught 29 between them using the new Black Herring pattern of the Striper Slayer lure by Shore Lure Company. There also have been good catches of stripers at Rodanthe which also has had some good catches of speckled trout. Frisco and Hatteras Inlet are still producing good catches of speckled trout also. Stripers are being caught all the way from Coquina Beach to Cape Point and even at Ocracoke Island where 32- and a 42-pound stripers were landed.

Tradewinds Tackle reported that there were so many puppy drum caught that they lost count. Doug Clough landed a 28-pound striper at Salvo on Sunday and Leonard Nuchols landed a 27-inch puppy drum Tuesday while fishing for trout. The stripers appear to be making their annual move as they seemed to be everywhere this week, but you just had to be in the right place unless you had a boat then you could find them easily. On Sunday there were thousands of birds moving south but most of them were out of reach from the surf. The water is full of bait and anglers are snagging small menhaden with almost every cast when using lures.

Terry Metts of Frisco, N.C., caught a blufin tuna that weighed in at 422 pounds, and Sue Davidson of Rising Sun, Md., caught a 46.8-pound striped bass. Karl Lehmann of Raleigh caught a striper in the surf off of Airport Road that weighed in at 43 pounds and was 43 inches long, using menhaden for bait.

Posted by Bigwig at 04:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 10, 2004


Bought detergent and one gallon ziplock bags tonight--that should take care of any group need for those over the weekend.

Could still probably use coffee, plastic cups and large garbage bags, in case anyone goes to the grocery store between now and then.

Anthing else anyone can think of?

Posted by Bigwig at 10:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 08, 2004

where are the stripers?

just read a post on the red drum site where a fella fished for two days at oregon inlet and did not see a single fish caught. while this is not reason for a four-alarm alert, it does beg to question if the fish have moved further south a bit sooner than expected. so much can happen between now and a week from now that it makes me very nervous.

Posted by Kevin at 04:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Straits Striper Chowder

Also from the N&O. I've copied it here as a hedge against link decay.

Straits Striper Chowder


1 to 2 pounds of skinless striped bass fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 strips bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoon chopped celery
1 cup diced potatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fish stock
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
pinch of rosemary (optional)


This is a milk-free variation on the traditional chowder recipe found on page 155 of Joyce Taylor's new cookbook, "Mariner's Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas." Published by North Carolina Sea Grant, this book has many great ways to cook any fish you're likely to catch.

To make fish stock, remove the gills from a striper head and simmer it in water with a whole onion and a whole carrot for up to 2 hours. Strain before using.

Fry bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove, crumble, set aside.

Put bacon drippings into a large saucepan, add onion and celery and cook over medium heat.

Add stock, potatoes, salt and pepper, rosemary if desired; cook until potatoes are partially tender, about 10 minutes. Add fish and cook until potatoes are done and fish can be flaked easily with a fork, about 10 minutes. Place in serving bowls.

Sprinkle with bacon and parsley.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Stripers Off Lookout

Big story on stripers in the N&O's outdoor section today

'They're snapping pretty good in here.'

"We've got another double."

"You can't keep a bait in the water over here."

That's a brief sampling of the radio chatter heard at Cape Lookout Shoals as the striped bass went on the bite in the days after Christmas.

Anglers, professional guides and tackle shop owners in the Morehead City area repeatedly described the fishing with the phrase "as good as it gets."

Although the winter striper fishery has been established in the Oregon Inlet area for at least a decade, such large schools of stripers are new to Carteret County. This new fishery is sustainable, too, because it represents a re-expansion of recovered striper stocks into their historical range, Dr. Louis Daniel of the state Division of Marine Fisheries said.

From another section.

Since Jan. 1, stripers weighing up to 48 pounds have been concentrated from the Oregon Inlet area down to Avon on Hatteras Island. On several days, the stripers chased schools of baitfish into the surf, and the big fish were within easy casting range of beach fishermen. Anglers easily caught their limits of two stripers longer than 28 inche

Posted by Bigwig at 10:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Im thinking Glacier Gloves, in particular the 801BK Slit-Finger, which I can get from some guy near Greensboro for $30

Still, it seems like a lot for gloves. I'll hunt around.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 07, 2004

Wyane Hegemeyer Sends His Best

Have been reading your site and wanted to wish you the best on the Hatteras trip. I fished Ocracoke from the 29th until the 1st of January and caught the striper (40" x 30#) in the photo using a gold 1-1/2 ounce Hopkins right at dark. Fortunately I was using my lightest rod (10' St. Croix) with 14# line and 30# leader on a Shimano Spheros 5000. What a blast for the 30 minutes it took to beach the fish. The 24-26" drum were also plentiful. Most fish were caught at the South Point and North for about 1/4 mile and most were caught on Menhaden rigged the same way you rig for Drum.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

many thanks

i just want to extend my thanks to sid for all the energy he has expended over the past years booking these trips. i do this only to re-inforce his servitude towards the cause, as none of the remaining "us" would have shouldered the responsibility (or so i am guessing). many thanks, sid. by the way, does this mean i get a waiver on the fees for the striper trip?

Posted by Kevin at 07:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

casting rods

ok, guys, you all know i sing the praises of tica rods, and i stand by my (unofficial) endorsement, but ocean master has a rod that seems to have won over many a tica caster in the past few months. that and the, damn you colin, pinnacle! the OM 12'rod is rated 6-10 but its sweet spot is 8, perfect for what most OBX'rs throw at the heavy fish. i mention this only for those wishing to perhaps purchase another casting rod and/or upgrade their current equipment. they are very affordable, around $110 for the 12'. seeing as how i "desperately" need another rod, and as how colin won't be a pal and let me borrow his pinnacle, i guess i may break down a buy one of these. if interested, go to the bass pro shop site and link to the salt water area. not only do they have a great selection of OM rods, they also carry the tsunami line, which sid has ( and is a great rod), as well as terminal tackle and various other "sweets".

Posted by Kevin at 07:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pretty colors

Water temps look good today.

The weather forecast for Hatteras is still too far out to rely on, but it can be seen here. Looks sunny and cold so far, with winds from the northwest 15 mph daytime, 7 mph night.

I've got everything I need other than gloves.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 06, 2004

A New House

Hatteras Realty assures me that they have houses for rent, despite all evidence to the contrary. Windy Dunes, our first booking, is being remodeled. Since then the realty has tried to get us into three other houses, all without success. The current candidate is Harper House, in Buxton. The girl is now checking on its status, and will call me back once she's confirmed that it's ready for visitors.

It's close to the beach, less than a mile from lighthouse, and claims "great fishing" in the description, so maybe the housing frustration is all part of an ineffable plan.

Update: Ok, this one has cleared all the checks. $518.85 is the total cost, or $86.50 each.

Last Update: Yes, Paypal the money to me if possible. "sstafford@nc.rr.com" is the address to use. email me for a physical address if you'd rather send a check.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:50 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 05, 2004

Striper Blitz


Looks like we might be pulling them out with bare hooks.


SidUpdate: Charlie sent me a longer version of the story from the Greensboro paper.

Posted by at 03:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tackle needs via BPS??

I will be working in Charlotte this week. If any of you need something from Bass Pro Shops let me know. I will be about 5 minutes from the BPS "superstore" @ Concord Mills. You can check out the website and if you need anything post it here or email me(be specific). BPS has everything under the sun plus some. I will probably pick up some heavier weights (6,7 & 8 ounce hatteras sinkers) and maybe a few extra rigs if they have them. If you can't get what you want delivered in time for trip, let me know as I'll save you overnight charges and have everything when you get to OBX. Wachovia is paying for my car & gas so delivery will be free for the FDS clan!! If you are not familiar w/BPS store, just think of a place bigger than a Super WalMart devoted entirely to fishing, boating & hunting. It takes me about a half of day just to look around!! Pure heaven for those of us addicted to fishing!!!

Posted by Mason at 11:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I've got a house tenatively booked--Windy Dunes, in Avon. Cost on it comes to $93 each at 6 people, but I've not paid for it yet, so if someone finds something we prefer more, I'll book that.

Beach House on the Moon was booked, and based on Dog's desire to be in either Avon or Rodanthe, I took Finch and company out of the running. Windy Dunes was what the lady at the realty
suggested when I told her what we were looking for. (big view and easy access to the beach)

Let me know.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 04, 2004


as if anybody needed any inspiration...check out the pictures at tradewinds...the stripers are really thick there now, and all of them would be a great pull! mason, get your new outfit ready...i can already hear the sound of numerous clickers and singing drags!

Posted by Kevin at 06:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

keeping bunker

just read the link mason posted on keeping bunker fresh. man, what a wealth of information. we have always fished with the heads, so that wasn't new, but the layering of the ice, fish, ice was new. makes sense. we have all fished with day old mullet only to see it leave the hook after a great rod load and cast...hence keeping bait cold. great advice and some i will follow from now on. also, the fact that the fish feed on the bunker, not the eels. i have never caught an eel out of the surf, only in the river at camp, and they were the green slimy mothers! another good point. all in all, good advice i think we should employ on this trip if we want to improve our chances of landing big stripers. looks like the key lies in the layering. see you all in two weeks!

Posted by Kevin at 05:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 01, 2004

House Update

I'll call to book the house on Monday. Tomorrow I'll send out an email to everyone going/possibly going on the striper trip to firm up the count beforehand. I'll assume that anyone who does not confirm to me that they are going by Monday morning is not going. I'll be booking the smallest/cheapest oceanfront I can find that will accomodate the numbers going.

Here's the list so far;

Colin's Coworker.

Tommy is likely out. Cliff is still a question mark but is likely not going, as are Adam and John Wnek. Charlie may go if Cliff does. Anyone else?

Posted by Bigwig at 09:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack